A cursory glance at the Bermuda Police Service’s budgetary allocation for the year 2023/2024, reveals that the organization has received an increase of just one percent over what it was granted in the 2022/2023 budget.
The BPS has seen its award go from $62,258,000 in the previous year, to $62,625,000 this year. A $467,000 increase. A paltry some when one considers the state of the BPS fleet of vehicles and the need, according to one well placed source, for equipment upgrades. Particularly as they relate to the islandwide CCTV network and body-worn cameras. The latter, now a standard too for law enforcement agencies the world over.
The body-cam situation with the BPS is said to be so bad, that officers are sometimes forced to use their camera phones to record situations while performing their duties to make Bermuda safer.
There are also said to be frequent breakdowns of the Service’s IT system. This, when the modern era of policing relies heavily on technology. TNN understands a number of new patrol motorcycles have been purchased by the BPS. The bikes are reportedly currently undergoing testing and adjustments before being put on the roads. Although it is understood a couple have already been put into service.
A number of new patrol cars are also reportedly en-route to the island. Darrin Simmons, Commissioner of Police has previously indicated that the purchasing of new patrol vehicles had been hampered by supply chain issues as the world continues to be impacted COVID related shortages.
We asked Mr Simons whether he was satisfied with what was provided the BPS in this year’s budget. He told TNN: “I do not wish to comment on the budget as the matter is being debated.
A well placed BPS source told TNN : “It’s left to be seen how the organization will meet the cost of hiring overseas officers, as announced last year, running recruitment foundation courses and the overtime costs generated by officers working too investigating murders, current and historical, as well as other crimes.
We asked Michael Weeks, the Honorable Minister of National Security whether he felt the Finance Minister has done the BPS justice by providing less than half a million in additional finances for the new fiscal year, given the continually increasing demands put on the Service.
TNN awaits a response from the Ministry of National Security.
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